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The Sierra Tarahumara: Photographs by John Ruebartsch

“The Sierra Tarahumara: Photographs by John Ruebartsch” opens Friday, September 12 from 6-8 pm at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 911 W. Naional Avenue with a reception for the artist. Ruebartsch is a long-time Riverwest resident and active board member with the Riverwest Artists Association, also a sponsor of this exhibit, along with the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the UW Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Ruebartsch chronicles the traditional lifeways and contemporary struggles of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, who face threats from loggers and drug growers who want to steal their land and destroy the natural environment for their profit. He has been assisted in his decade-long quest to capture the spirit of the people and their struggle on film by the Sierra Madre Alliance, a nongovernmental nonprofit agency doing community development work and environmental research and advocacy since 1993. This exhibit features some new work done since 2002, all large-format color photographs. Exhibit text and gallery guide are available in English and in Spanish. All artwork sales will benefit WPCA and the Sierra Madre Alliance. In addition to the exhibit, Ruebartsch is leading a photography residency for students at El Puente Alternative High School, a program funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board, and also will be on hand for a free film screening and panel discussion to be held on Saturday, October 11 at WPCA. “The Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara,” a documentary film co-produced by Ruebartsch, will be shown. Ruebartsch, Randall Gingrich, the Director of the Sierra Madre Alliance and Dr. Bernard Perley from UWM’s Anthropology Department will be on hand to discuss the film, the photographs, the region and its people, the work of the SMA, and issues relating to cultural survival of indigenous people in North America.